An Overview of California Motorcycle Safety Laws

Driving bike in autumn in a foggy morning

Whether you are a daily rider or a weekend warrior, it is important to know California’s motorcycle safety laws. Understanding these laws can save you time and money. Most importantly, these laws can help keep you from having a motorcycle accident.

Motorcycle Laws in California

Below, we briefly summarize the motorcycle safety laws in California, including required equipment, prohibited gear and traffic laws for motorcycles on the roads. If you have questions about California motorcycle laws or what to do after a motorcycle accident, contact our San Diego motorcycle accident lawyer.

California Motorcycle Equipment Requirements

  • Daytime running lights are required for vehicles manufactured after 1977.
  • A rider should not drive a motorcycle with handlebars positioned so that they must hold their hands more than six inches above their shoulders to grip the bars while sitting in the seat.
  • Left and right side mirrors are required by law.
  • Full mufflers are required. Cut outs, or other similar bypasses are prohibited.
  • Turn signals are required by law.
  • A passenger seat and footrest are required, only if carrying a passenger.

Motorcycle Safety Gear

  • Riders are required to wear a safety helmet.
  • Earplugs are allowed, but only if they do not prevent a rider from hearing emergency vehicle sirens or another drivers horn.
  • Only single earphone helmet speakers are allowed by law.
  • Eye protection is not required.

Motorcycle Traffic Laws in California

  • Lane splitting is legal.
  • There is no specific statute to address two motorcycles riding abreast of each other.
  • Rider education is required for riders under 21.
  • There is no age limit on passengers.
  • Riders must carry liability insurance.
  • Motorcycles towing trailers must not exceed 55 MPH and must remain in the far right lane (two far right lanes on a four-lane highway).

Have You Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?

Frederick M. Dudek is an avid cyclist and helps individuals in bicycle and motorcycle accidents seek justice if they are injured by the negligence of another. Contact our San Diego motorcycle accident lawyer at (858) 530-4800 or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation to discuss your situation.



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